From a series in The Roanoke Times


Bittersweet berries crack out of armor the color of honeybees, the color of fall.

To many, this season is a whirl of wine and rust. But make no mistake: at

its core, fall is yellow.

It is the yellow of allergies - of swaying, gangly goldenrod, mocking ragweed, an unchecked sneeze. It is the wardrobe of a knotty oak, the pallor of a warty gourd.

It is cornbread and pats of melting butter, peppers and pears and meaty chestnuts.

Yellow is a paradox.

It is the color of cowardice and friendship, of ribbons and remembrance, of quarantine and happiness, of youth and old age.

It is the restless messenger of change that even the impatient snap of winter cannot hush.

Yellow is flu and fever and an itchy sweater. It is a cracked door of light on a carrot-crisp night that falls too soon. It is a shedding pompom, late afternoon, a harvest moon and a mum that hangs like a fishing weight from a navy blue homecoming dress.

It is a lumbering school bus, a shrinking pencil, and a worn book during the gray hours invented for fire-side reading.

It is the flower bulbs that will sleep through the dead months ahead. It is the warmth that will get the rest of us through them.

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